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Famous East London nightclub loses licence after spate of ‘violent’ incidents including ‘man being knocked unconscious’ and reports of sexual assaults

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Shoreditch nightclub Cargo has lost its licence following a spate of violent incidents throughout the year.

In one month, the nightclub saw 20 thefts and eight violent incidents, while other venues in the area reported no thefts at all, a Met spokesperson said.

Police officers from the Central East Basic Command Unit have been meeting consistently with the management of the Rivington Street venue but were concerned with the pattern of violent incidents and thefts.

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A spokesperson said 20 officers were at one point stationed at the venue to monitor crime in the area.

“At closing time, specialist public order officers have had to be deployed from elsewhere in London to control crowds leaving the club,” they said.

“This comes at a significant cost to the Met and means those resources are unable to be deployed to address other policing priorities. No such resources are required for any other single venue in the area.”

Following “extensive” engagement with management over the year “without any improvement”, the Met applied to Hackney Council to have Cargo’s licence revoked.

A decision was ultimately reached at the council’s Licensing Sub-Committee on Tuesday, 14 December.

According to a report submitted to the committee, two women were sexually assaulted on August 1, 2021, but security staff allegedly did not “seem bothered about talking to the offender”.

The offender was alleged to have put his hand up the skirts of the two women and touched their buttock area.

On August 5, an alleged fight in the venue resulted in one man being knocked unconscious, but management did not save CCTV from the incident.

Two days later another male is reported to have entered the venue without ID carrying a glass bottle and a pair of scissors. He was later detained by police.

On August 14, an unknown person is also alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman over her clothes. Due to “poor CCTV” a suspect could not be identified.

According to the report, management “refused to accept the CCTV was poor and instead claimed that the assault happened on a busy dance floor”.

Inspector Andy Durrant, from the Central East Basic Command Unit, said: “The management of Cargo nightclub did not address key concerns frequently raised by the police relating to high levels of crime and disorder in and around their venue. The committee’s decision is the result of those repeated failings.

“There is no greater responsibility for police than the safety of the public. We thank the residents of Hackney and Tower Hamlets who supported our application to have this licence reviewed and took the time to attend the hearing.

“Police licensing officers will continue to engage with Cargo’s management team, and licensees across Hackney and Tower Hamlets, in an effort to secure a much-improved environment for people living and working in the area.”

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Chief Inspector Lucky Singh, who leads on the night-time economy in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: “We are extremely proud of the nighttime economy here in Shoreditch and we want it to be the safest and most secure in London.

“We want all visitors to have a safe and positive experience and we work closely with venues to achieve this. We will always provide assistance and guidance in the first instance and our officers will go on investing a lot of time in an effort to help venues to improve.

“However, where they continue to fail to play their part in delivering improvements on key issues like safety and security, it is right that we take robust action as we did in the case of Cargo.

“I’m confident that the committee’s decision will be welcome news for local residents, neighbouring businesses and other visitors to the area who have suffered for too long because of the continued crime and disorder in and around this particular venue.”

Cargo did not respond to a request for comment when contacted by MyLondon.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/east-london-news/famous-east-london-nightclub-loses-22483840